POWER, THE LEGACY JONATHAN CAN GIVE NIGERIANS
With just few months to the end of President Goodluck Jonathan administration, Mr. Festus Uzoma Mbisiogu, Managing Director, Blue Diamond logistics China one of the largest cargo outfit in the world has call on Mr. president to utilize the opportunity to make history by stabilizing the epileptic power sector. According Mr. Mbisiogu, the only legacy Jonathan will leave behind is constant power supply, which is the bedrock of economic power. He commended the present administration for removing some items from import prohibition list. He speaks further.
Jonathan's promise of steady power supply
Well, Nigerians have made the best choice, but I hope we will perfect this choice in April when we are expected to elect our leaders. Mr. president should reciprocate this gesture by tackling and solving the most pressing problems facing the citizenry and one of them is lack of power. As he flag off his campaign, his slogan should be constant power in 2012 or 2013, this become necessary because like I have always said, power is the driving force of any stable economy. With steady power supply, Nigeria will be investment heaven as small-scale businesses will thrive and that is the secret of Chinese economic strength. Therefore Mr. president should focus on improving the power sector towards job creation and employment generation. Anything short of this won't matter to Nigerians.
How sincere is Jonathan?
So far, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Jonathan's sincerity to Nigerians is not in doubt except he will change tomorrow which I think will not happen. However, previous governments in Nigeria made failed promises.
In China because of steady power supply, a boy will spend months experimenting with two wires trying to invent and at the end of the day he will come up with an improved product and export it to Africa all because there was availability of power that enabled him come up with something new. My problem is that our leaders visit Asia, and America frequently and they see the kind of infrastructures and orderliness through good governance and they enjoy those facilities and amenities but cannot replicate it here.
For Christ sake you don't need to tell our leaders that constant power supply will reduce cost of production, high productivity as some items imported into the country could be manufactured locally and new ideas will set in. I wanted to bring three Chinese investors to the country but they declined because of high cost of diesel in Nigeria. Through manual labour, productivity will be low and the cost of production will be high hence those who attempted it close up few years after. It's unfortunate that our universities and other institutions of higher learning keep turning out graduates without job. Therefore I want to believe that Mr. president is not deceiving Nigerians, he can give us light, he has the capacity and ability to lay a solid foundation towards economic growth.
Ban of some items with local alternative
Yes in a recent statement, the Federal Government said goods that have alternatives, remain ban. But the question is how many of these goods can be produce in Nigeria without going abroad, that can equally be exported? That to me is what an alternative should be. But its unfortunate I don't think there is any of such goods in Nigeria. For instances show me a place I can buy ten containers of furniture and textiles in Nigeria.
Impediments of economic growth
The major challenge towards economic growth is lack of power or energy. Give Nigerians electricity and you will see small and medium scale enterprises springing up here and there, engaging people and thereby reduce unemployment and also generate income for the nation.
In China due to constant power supply, virtually every home produces one thing or the other that can happen here if the power sector is fixed. However there is no need over flogging the issue of power, it is an integral aspect of industrialization.
We record lost and wastage of fruits that cannot be preserved because there is no constant power hence fruits waste away in major markets all over the country but if there is power, they can be preserved and processed then you will have either tomato paste or fruit juice as this is how advance economies create job for their citizens. So the president should endeavor as a matter of seriousness within 4 years as he promise fix the power sector as history will always have it as the man who fix the power sector in Nigeria. One legacy, which cannot be taken away from former president Olusegun Obasanjo, is the provision of GSM to the Nigeria people and Jonathan can write his name in gold as the one who provided constant power supply to Nigerians.
Challenges facing blue diamond in international trade
We of course have challenges moving cargoes from China and other countries to Nigeria and the major one is power, as most operations in the Port are power driven the second is bad roads and encumbrances of port operation by government agencies. In China and other countries the environments are conductive. There the government is in partnership with the private sector to ensure that both small and medium businesses thrive because they don't want to run into problem where millions of their citizens will be jobless as is the case in Nigeria hence it will affect the country negatively. In other countries, containers leave the ports within three days but here; it takes more than three weeks to be cleared. Roads leading to sea and airports in the these developed countries are superb, it takes minutes to convey consignments for shipments to other parts of the world and their port operation system is fast hence freight forwarders are not subjected to unnecessary interrogation which is the case here. How can you talk about viable economy when basic infrastructures are not in place? However I urge the president to make infrastructural development the centre point of his economics policy beginning with power. Sometimes I wonder whether we don't have engineers that can bring their technical know how to bear so that power problem facing the nation can be a thing of the past.
Lifting ban and how it affected Blue Diamond
I commend the Federal Government under the amiable leadership of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan though it may not be good to our economy but it become necessary because majority of what we consume are imported hence there is no alternative or a conductive environment for alternative to occur. For instance it cost more to produce textile locally because of lack of power even most textile companies in the country has closed down because they cannot continue to run at a lost. For example Enpee on Isolo Lagos and Africa print have close down and just recently their Kaduna factory was reopened. Which furniture company can boast of sourcing 30% of its raw materials locally and also produce furniture that can meet international standard.